Styles of Whisky
Theres an incredible amount of jargon in the Whisky industry, and it can be a lot to get your head around at first. Below we have compiled a list of the most common types of whisky and terms you may find printed on the bottle.
We have also included a few great examples of each whisky style, and linked through to a page with a more detail on the style, origin and production technique for each whisky type.
Single Malt Whisky
Single Malt Whisky must be produced entirely from malted barley and be distilled, aged and bottled at a single distillery. Single malt whiskies are often the most prized style of whisky produced by a distillery.
Here are a few great examples of Single Malt Whisky.
Blended whiskies are produced by mixing whiskies that have been produced by different distilleries or from different grains. This style is incredibly popular and accounts for most of the whisky production from brands like Johnnie Walker, Chivas Regal and Jameson.
Here are a few examples of great Blended Whisky.
Scotch is the name given to whisky that is entirely produced within Scotland and is typically produced from water, yeast and a grain (ie. malted barley), and then aged in oak barrels for at least 3 years, but often significantly longer.
Scotch is the most popular style of whisky globally and flavour can vary greatly between region and distillery. Follow the link if you’re interested in learning more about Scotch Whiskies, or get started by exploring some of our favourites.
Production of Bourbon is strictly regulated. It can only be distilled in the United States from a mash containing at least 51% corn, plus a mix of wheat, rye or barley for flavour. And then aged in charred New American Oak barrels, before being bottled at a minimum of 80 proof (or 40% ABV).
While Bourbon can be produced anywhere in America, 95% of production occurs in Kentucky, and saying Kentucky is famous for its Bourbon is an understatement.
Here are a few of the best Bourbons on the market.
Single Barrel Whisky
Single Barrel Whiskies are bottled from an individual barrel of whisky, often released only when an exceptional barrel of whisky is found. Single Barrel Whiskies often represent the best of what a distillery can produce.
Here are a few exceptional Single Barrel Whiskies.
Cask Strength Whisky
Cask Strength Whisky is bottled straight out of the barrel without any dilution. This leads to a significantly higher % of Alcohol by Volume (ABV) or “Proof” for our American readers.
Here are a few of our favourite Cask Strength Whiskies.
Peated Whisky is polarising— people either love or hate the smokey flavour that Peated Whiskies are famous for.
Here are a few of the most popular Peated Whiskies.
Age Statement Whisky
When bottling whisky, distillers mix spirits from barrels of different ages to produce the desired flavour profile. The age of the youngest spirit contained within the bottle is then printed on the label— ie 10 year old whisky — we call this an Age Statement.
Here are a few of the top whiskies with an Age Statement.
No Age Statement Whisky
Some distilleries have opted to not print an age statement on bottles that contain younger spirits- we call these No Age Statement Whiskies.
Here are a few of the best No Age Statement Whiskies.
Unaged whiskies or New Make Spirit has spent no time in barrels. While not technically “whisky” yet, we felt they deserved a spot on our directory.
Here are some of the best bottles of New Make Spirit.